The Undercover Revolution: How Fiction Changed Britain
Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain saw a mega-change in reading habits. For the first time fiction took the primary place in book publishing, and the medium was taken up by brilliant and entertaining authors with an agenda for ‘a brave new world’. Such men as Thomas Hardy, H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were the opinion makers for coming generations. ‘With the next phase of Victorian fiction’, wrote G.J. Chesterton, ‘we enter a new world; the later, more revolutionary, more continental, freer but in some ways weaker world in which we live today.’
Chesterton did not live to see the full consequences of the change but W.R. Inge predicted what was coming when he wrote:
About the Author
Iain Hamish Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated at Wallasey Grammar School and King William’s College in the Isle of Man (1945-49). He was converted in 1949 through the ministry at Hildenborough Hall, Tom and Jean Rees’ Christian conference centre in Kent. It was at Hildenborough later that same year that he first met Jean Ann Walters, who was to become his wife (they married in Edgeware on April 23, 1955).
After service with the Cameronians in Singapore and Malaya, he read Philosophy and History at the University of Durham with a view to the ministry of the English Presbyterian Church (his parents’ denomination). It was at Durham that he began to read the Puritans, whose writings were to become a lifelong passion. After a year of private study, he assisted Sidney Norton at St John’s Free Church, Oxford, in 1955–56, and it was here that The Banner of Truth magazine was launched, with Murray as its first editor.
From 1956 he was for three years assistant to Dr. Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel and there, with the late Jack Cullum, founded the Banner of Truth Trust in 1957. He left Westminster in 1961 for a nine-year pastorate at Grove Chapel, Camberwell. With the world-wide expansion of the Trust, Iain Murray became engaged full-time in its ministry from 1969 until 1981 when he responded to a call from St Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia. Now based again in the UK, he and Jean live in Edinburgh. He has written many titles published by the Trust, in whose work he remains active. He is still writing.